From the WWL, New Orleans, blog:

12:55 P.M. - MIAMI (AP) -- Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines says it is considering a federal request that the company use some of its cruise ships as emergency shelters or help in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in some other way.

Considering? I certainly hope they do the right thing, but are we so far gone as a nation that they really need to think it over?

Talk Time

In the midst of all the awfulness, this really struck me, from this AP story:

“No regular phones in the Superdome were working and long lines formed as people waited to recharge cell phone batteries from the two available electrical outlets.”

Two. There are about 20,000 people there.

More on all this later.


All Eras End Eventually

Quote of the day:

“This is the opening of an era in which human beings and robots can co-exist,” the company said.

Way Back in the 20th Century

Blog meme time.

Head here, type year of high school graduation into search box, up pops Top 100 from that year. Strike through all you hate; bold those you like; leave alone those you don’t know or don’t feel strongly about. Bang:

  1. Too Close, Next 2. The Boy Is Mine, Brandy and Monica 3. You're Still The One, Shania Twain 4. Truly Madly Deeply, Savage Garden 5. How Do I Live, LeAnn Rimes 6. Together Again, Janet 7. All My Life, K-Ci and JoJo 8. Candle In The Wind 1997, Elton John 9. Nice and Slow, Usher 10. I Don't Want To Wait, Paula Cole 11. How's It Going To Be, Third Eye Blind 12. No, No, No, Destiny's Child 13. My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion 14. Gettin' Jiggy Wit, Will Smith 15. You Make Me Wanna..., Usher 16. My Way, Usher 17. My All, Mariah Carey 18. The First Night, Monica 19. Been Around The World, Puff Daddy and The Family 20. Adia, Sarah McLachlan 21. Crush, Jennifer Paige 22. Everybody (Backstreet's Back), Backstreet Boys 23. I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, Aerosmith 24. Body Bumpin Yippie-Yi-Yo, Public Announcement 25. This Kiss, Faith Hill 26. I Don't Ever Want To See You Again, Uncle Sam 27. Let's Ride, Montell Jordan 28. Sex And Candy, Marcy Playground 29. Show Me Love, Robyn 30. A Song For Mama, Boyz II Men 31. What You Want, Mase 32. Frozen, Madonna 33. Gone Till November, Wyclef Jean 34. My Body, Lsg 35. Tubthumping, Chumbawamba 36. Deja Vu (Uptown Baby), Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz 37. I Want You Back, 'N Sync 38. When The Lights Go Out, Five 39. They Don't Know, Jon B. 40. Make Em' Say Uhh!, Master P 41. Make It Hot, Nicole Featuring Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and Mocha 42. Never Eve, All Saints 43. I Get Lonely, Janet 44. Feel So Good, Mase 45. Say It, Voices Of Theory 46. Kiss The Rain, Billie Myers 47. Come With Me, Puff Daddy 48. Romeo And Juliet, Sylk-E Fyne 49. It's All About Me, Mya and Sisqo 50. I Will Come To You, Hanson 51. One Week, Barenaked Ladies 52. Swing My Way, K.P. and Envyi 53. The Arms Of The One Who Loves You, Xscape 54. My Love Is The Shhh!, Somethin' For The People 55. Daydreamin', Tatyana Ali 56. We're Not Making Love No More, Dru Hill 57. Semi-Charmed Life, Third Eye Blind 58. I Do, Lisa Loeb 59. Lookin' At Me, Mase 60. Looking Through Your Eyes, LeAnn Rimes 61. Lately, Divine 62. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart), Backstreet Boys 63. I Still Love You, Next 64. Time After Time, Inoj 65. Are You Jimmy Ray?, Jimmy Ray 66. Cruel Summer, Ace Of Base 67. I Got The Hook Up!, Master P 68. Victory, Puff Daddy and The Family 69. Too Much, Spice Girls 70. Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are), Pras Feat. Ol' Dirty Bastard and Mya 71. How Deep Is Your Love, Dru Hill Featuring Redman 72. Friend Of Mine, Kelly Price 73. Turn It Up [Remix] / Fire It Up, Busta Rhymes 74. I'll Be, Edwin McCain 75. Ray Of Light, Madonna 76. All For You, Sister Hazel 77. Touch It, Monifah 78. Money, Power and Respect, Lox 79. Bitter Sweet Symphony, The Verve 80. Dangerous, Busta Rhymes 81. Spice Up Your Life, Spice Girls 82. Because Of You, 98 Degrees 83. The Mummers' Dance, Loreena McKennitt 84. All Cried Out, Allure Featuring 112 85. Still Not A Player, Big Punisher Featuring Joe 86. The One I Gave My Heart To, Aaliyah 87. Foolish Games / You Were Meant For Me, Jewel 88. Love You Down, Inoj 89. Do For Love, 2Pac 90. Raise The Roof, Luke 91. Heaven, Nu Flavor 92. The Party Continues, Jd 93. Sock It 2 Me, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott Featuring Da Brat 94. Butta Love, Next 95. A Rose Is Still A Rose, Aretha Franklin 96. 4 Seasons Of Loneliness, Boyz II Men 97. Father, LL Cool J 98. Thinkin' Bout It, Gerald Levert 99. Nobody's Supposed To Be Here, Deborah Cox 100. Westside, TQ

“Body Bumpin Yippie-Yi-Yo”?

What’s really most notable is that, though I’ve heard of most of the artists, most of these songs, I have absolutely no idea about. I suspect I know some and don’t know the titles, but still…it’s not as if I wasn’t listening to music in 1998. I listed to a lot of music. Just not, y’know, this music.


Best. Simile. Ever.

From a Salon article on teledildonics:

The physical awkwardness of typing and touching myself was a problem -- kind of like trying to eat an ice cream cone while washing dishes.


Watch the Possessive Pronoun

You know what I like? [Note: what follows is not actually something I like] How Don Rumsfeld is a flaming asshole even when he's doing the right thing:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration swiftly distanced itself Tuesday from a suggestion by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson that American agents should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, long at odds with U.S. foreign policy.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, appearing at a Pentagon news conference, said when asked: ``Our department doesn't do that kind of thing. It's against the law. He's a private citizen. Private citizens say all kinds of things all the time.''

Our department. He didn't say "the United States," or "the United States government." No. He said "our department" - meaning, the Department of Defense. You could almost see the thought bubble - "That's [CIA Director] Porter [Goss]'s job."


From Gene Weingarten’s chat at washingtonpost.com, “Chatological Humor,” August 23, 2005:

Gainesville, Va.: Regarding your comments about Canada being hipper than the U.S. last week, I often wonder why more American liberals like yourself (and the vast majority of your readers) don't move there.
I'm not asking this to be flip or snide (unlike the Alex [sic] Baldwins of the world who routinely make such "threats" whenever Republicans win the White House, then never seem to follow up) -- I'm genuinely curious about why more of you don't migrate to a place that seems to be much more in line with your values, views and lifestyle choices than is the case here in the U.S. Conservatives don't really have that option -- there's no place that comes as close to their "ideal" as the U.S., even when the Dems are in charge -- but liberals do. A place like Toronto would seem to offer everything you would want -- national health care, multiculturalism, gay marriage, pro baseball, public transit, proximity to family in the eastern U.S., higher and more progressive taxes, cheaper pharmaceuticals, strong opposition to the Bush foreign policy, and now the right to use the F-word in print. All this, for just a few extra days of snow and cold each year. Other than the usual reasons that we all have for living in our less-than-favorite place (such as a specific job we enjoy), what's keeping you all south of the St. Lawrence?
Gene Weingarten: This is a good question, and it's one I've thought about as the United States seems to be moving toward a conservative theocracy. And I really like Toronto. And Montreal. But: 1. One doesn't lightly jettison one's citizenship, particularly citizenship in this great country. Moreover, politics are cyclical. I believe in Americans; I believe we are on the verge of a backlash to this nonsense. 2. For a humor writer, the United States, right now, is a goldmine. Hypocrisy is funny. I suspect I would not find myself with as much to say in Canada. I'm not sure what I would do if this president, for example, instituted a draft to support this war. And my kids were in jeopardy. They are adults, but I might well move to Canada in support of their decision. Dunno. Don't think it will happen.”

This pisses me off, and I figured out why. It’s not just the condescending, snide tone (despite the assurance that it isn’t) – it’s the basic premise that us liberals don’t value this country, and further, that in an important way it’s not even ours to value. Which is nonsense. All citizens of our great country – and it is a great country, and also awful and mighty and powerful and myopic and a thousand other things – have equal claim on the country, on its history, its present, its future.



It really behooves everyone to pay more attention to stories like this:

BEIJING, Aug. 21 -- Police clashed with protesters demanding the closure of a battery factory in eastern China they accuse of spewing lead into the environment, and dozens of people were injured, witnesses and hospital officials said Sunday.

Such scenes of frustration are becoming more common in rural China as villagers vent their anger against corruption, environmental degradation, pollution and the seizure of land for real estate development.

Another man, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said about 1,000 police officers later went to villages and harassed and beat those who had participated in the protest, injuring at least 10 of them. The police were holding shields and wearing helmets, he said.
The man said as many as 5,000 residents retaliated later that night by “breaking into government offices and burning police cars.” He said the protesters wanted the factory to shut down or move, but company officials refused.

Why is this important? Because these are our batteries – the batteries you buy to put in your MP3 player, the one in your car, in the smoke detector at work, in the POS printer at Starbucks. They are manufactured, mostly, in China, and manufacturing batteries is a pretty nasty business (let’s leave aside for a moment what happens to them when they’re used up…) – lots of chemicals involved, many noxious, and they’ve gotta go somewhere. Time was, that somewhere was the Cuyahoga or Schuylkill, but now it’s not – it got too damned expensive to manufacture stuff and then dispose of the results of the manufacture in ways that wouldn’t, y’know, cause cancer for all the good folks living around and working at the factory.

So for the last 20 years or so, there’s been a relentless race to the bottom in terms of working conditions and environmental regulations – always someplace to treat workers crappier, pay them less, and give less mind to where toxic byproducts ended up – but that race had to hit bottom somewhere. For most industries, that bottom was (and is) China. The problem, of course, is that nobody (even Chinese! Those inscrutable Orientals, I tell ya…) really likes lead being dumped into their streams and backyards. And so, here is the pushback, finally: riots in the Chinese countryside.


No Comment Necessary

To some of the 400,000 youngsters attending the event, the sight of a young man in a priest's collar or black suit arouses huge interest.
Young people say they are also approachable enough to ask frank questions such as how they can live without sex.

The more dashing young priests at World Youth Day seem to have an entourage of adoring teenage girls.

"I know I am hanging in a few girls' bedrooms too, but that's fine -- we need their prayers for more priests," Father Jonathan Meyer said.



Do This

Sign up here. So cool.

Also, blogging from here.


Yeah, that'd be nice
I wonder what would happen if a reporter were to ask Junior how he felt about the fact that his father's predictions of failure in Iraq had all come true? I'd really like to see that.

But nobody's gonna ask that, are they? Stupid assholes.

"B*****"; "Get H***"
A public radio station in Kentucky has reversed its decision to cancel Garrison Keillor's "The Writer's Almanac" over concerns about offensive content, after what station officials said was an outpouring of support.

WUKY-FM, based in Lexington, canceled the show in early August. The daily spot runs a few minutes and features Keillor noting important milestones in writing history, after which he typically reads a poem.

Recent poems had included words such as "breast" and the phrase "get high." Another included suggestive sexual content, according to WUKY General Manager Tom Goddell.

He said there were no listener complaints, but station officials had worried about recent moves by the Federal Communications Commission to crack down on language it considered obscene.

BREAST is now a potentially obscene word?!? "Get high"?!? Good God, what have we come to?


Creationism Redux
At first glance, with its research-quality replicas and lush dioramas of prehistoric Earth, the Museum of Earth History, which opened in April in this spa town, may seem like any other facility devoted to dinosaurs and fossils. But, with exhibits aligned with the Bible's six days of creation, it is also emblematic of the increasing volume in the national debate over how evolution should be taught in public schools and the emboldening of those who oppose or question evolution.


Finishing the tour with their two sons in tow, Robert and Debbie Archer, surgeons from Tulsa, said they were gratified to visit a museum that reflects their beliefs and not Darwin's.

That is why he developed the museum, said G. Thomas Sharp, founder and chairman of the Creation Truth Foundation.


Such literal interpretation is essential, Sharp said, because "If we lose Genesis as a legitimate scientific and historical explanation for man, then we lose the validity of Christianity. Period."


Steve Gilliard sez:

"But there is a deeper and widely shared cultural issue here: New Yorkers hate Southerners and Southern culture. A Southern accent draws scorn from everybody. which is why I find the idea of Fred Thompson as Manhattan DA on Law and Order as likely as Pvt. Jenna Bush. The minute he opened his mouth, most New Yorkers would stop listening. Even white people here call them crackers. Bill Clinton is accepted because white Southerners hate him.

New York doesn't even have a country music station. They tried and no one listened. Yes, Garth Brooks played in Central Park, but even the cops laughed at the idea of New Yorkers actually going to such a thing. Sure, they wanted to build a NASCAR track in Staten Island, but that's Staten Island, our very own Cobb County, but with 10 times the racists. Most New Yorkers laugh at NASCAR as the sport of drunken idiots. If Scott think that disdain for white Southerners is limited to the "elite" we can visit any high school and raise the subject, Stuy, Dalton, Midwood and see what answers we get. We can ask them if any listen to country music, watch NASCAR or what they think of the South.

Target is accepted here because it is low impact, and its image is urban friendly. Home Depot provides a real service since the closing of Woolworths and Martin's Paints. But Wal Mart, while it has low prices, also says cheap. And anti-union. Which matters here.

Wal Mart can keep trying, but when they run into continued hostility, with every candidate forced to oppose them, they might understand the issue isn't big box stores but them."

It's an interesting time in America. Most people don't have a sense of, or pride in, place. But New Yorkers do - all of 'em. They live in the best damn city in the world, and they know it, and they're proud of it. They've got the best baseball team, they've got the best culture, best restaurants - everyone wants to come there. Of course they look down on the South - they look down on everywhere (there was a great back-and-forth a couple years ago about NY-DC puffery). And the South is (for better or worse) one of the only other places in this country that has a sense of pride in place - only, it's also fueled by resentment, and the idea that they're being mocked and looked down upon. 'Cause, well, they are.

Wal-Mart is about not caring, about not even having a right to have an opinion on the kind of place you'd like to live. Cynical greedy bastards.


Digby, as usual, gets it right
"They have, after all, already demonstrated that they are entirely hueristic decisionmakers who are discontented with the direction the country is going but can't rationally put that together with who is in charge.


The Republicans are not fucking around here. They are building an impermeable, corrupt political machine made up of cronies, employees and hangers-on the likes of which we haven't seen since the 19th century. They are court-packing, gerrymandering, impeaching and recalling --- not to mention electronically stuffing ballot boxes and throwing disputed elections to their handpicked Supreme Court judges. They control the DC lobbying process and own a rather large piece of the media landscape. They are not building their "permanent majority" through a civil, democratic process."

That's right. They're installing themselves in power by any means necessary, and in the process are barricading any possible escape routes - e.g., a populace with tools of critical thinking. They want to create a nation that has basically no idea what's going on, and to the extent things are suboptimal, it's the fault of Emmanuel Goldstein/the Democrat Party, just because it is.

On the plus side...um, no, not really anything, no.

Rising Fa...Fa...Yes, This Smells Like Fascism
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2005 � The Defense Department today announced the first "America Supports You Freedom Walk" to honor the victims of 9/11 and America's military personnel, as well as to celebrate freedom.

The Freedom Walk will begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 11 in the Pentagon South parking lot, near the site where the airliner crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. The walk route will consist of a two-mile trek through Arlington National Cemetery, over the Potomac River, and will end by the reflecting pool on the National Mall, where a free concert featuring country music star Clint Black will take place.

"I am proud and honored to be part of the America Supports You Freedom Walk to honor the victims of 9/11 and to support our men and women in uniform," Black said.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made the announcement today at the Pentagon.

"Every year since the Sept. 11 attacks, Americans have commemorated that anniversary. This year the Department of Defense will initiate an American Supports You Freedom Walk. The walk will begin at the Pentagon and end at the National Mall. It will include many of the major monuments in Washington, D.C., reminding participants of the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation that have so successfully defended our freedoms," Rumsfeld said.

"America Supports You" is a nationwide program launched by the Defense Department with the goal of highlighting how Americans across the country are supporting the men and women of the armed forces.

via Steve Gilliard.

This is just ridiculous. And Clint, baby...I LIKED you, man.


Not a Shock
The axe comes down:

ANAHEIM, Calif., Aug. 4 -- The Baltimore Orioles fired Manager Lee Mazzilli on Thursday morning and replaced him with bench coach Sam Perlozzo on an interim basis, a team official said. The announcement was expected to come prior to the team's game this afternoon against the Los Angeles Angels.

The Orioles were in first place for 62 consecutive days between April and June, but have gone 9-28 since then, including their current eight-game losing streak, falling to 10 1/2 games behind first-place Boston in the American League East.

Mazilli seemed like a nice enough guy, but really - this last month and a half has been just godawful, and he hasn't had an answer for it.


I Have No Idea How I Should Feel About This

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) - Mauritanian army officers overthrew the U.S.-allied president on Wednesday, saying a military junta would temporarily rule the Islamic nation that has increasingly looked to the West as the government raised fears of a growing threat from al-Qaida linked militants.

President Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Taya, who himself seized power in a coup two decades ago, was out of the country when presidential guard troops took control of the national radio and television stations earlier Wednesday, cutting broadcasts and seizing a building housing the army chief of staff headquarters.

Taya, who has allied himself with the United States in the war on terror and cracked down ruthlessly on opponents he accuses of being Islamic extremists, refused comment after arriving Wednesday in nearby Niger from Saudi Arabia, where he attended King Fahd's funeral.


The junta said it would exercise power for up to two years to allow time to put in place ``open and transparent'' democratic institutions.


Oil recently was discovered in reserves offshore in Mauritania and the country is expected to begin pumping crude for the first time early next year.

I suppose the smart money is on this just being the exchange of one brutal, repressive dictator for another. For more on Mauritania (high on the list of Places I'm Glad I'm Not From), go here.



A Very Important Chatological Humor today.


Monday Daily Silliness

From an article in the WaPo on Al Gore's new channel, CurrentTV:
Some television analysts have questioned whether the company will be able to find enough amateur content to fill the airtime and to hold the interest of the notoriously fickle Generations X and Y. There's also some skepticism that the channel's lack of a schedule will confuse viewers.

Hahahahahaha. Seriously, hahahaha. Finding free content of eminently higher quality than what's on either broadcast or non-HBO/Comedy Central/Cartoon Network television is going to be the absolute least of their worries. Whether they have the moxie to put the best of it on is the only question.

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